Sunday, April 03, 2016

A Child's Clothing in the 1850s

This long sleeved little boy’s dress was worn by King West, the son of William T. and Lydia Mahala Todd West in the 1850s. These short pants completed the outfit, which would have allowed young King to toddle around easily.

King David West was born on June 7, 1853. The son of William T. West, he was named after his uncle, Abel Kingsbury West. (Some sources list King’s name as Abel Kingsbury West.)

W.T. West and A.K. West were pioneer Sandusky residents who operated a dry goods store and built the West House hotel.  The 1869 Sandusky City Directory lists the residence of King D. West as West House, and his occupation was clerk at the dry goods store of W.T. and K.D. West.

Sadly, on September 9, 1872, nineteen year old King D. West drowned in Lake Erie after a sudden storm overtook the yacht Oriole, as King was with a group who wanted to view the regatta at Put in Bay. He was buried in the West family lot in the North Ridge section of Oakland Cemetery. His parents were heartbroken at the loss of their son. He most likely would have played an integral role in the business ventures of the West family, had he lived longer. King’s sister, Mrs. C.L. Hubbard (nee Jennie West) donated King’s childhood clothing to the historical museum of the Sandusky Library. The garments are now part of the historical collections of the Follett House Museum.

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